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Inline Console

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by jarjarbinks, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Hello experts.

    Im investigating inline mixing consoles.

    I need two things:

    1: Can you recommend books with info about inline desks?
    2: What models/brands do you know? I want to look for videos and user manuals, hopefully with block diagrams so I can study their signal paths.
    3. Can you name a cost effective inline desk that I can purchase for under $10000

    I only know of Toft, Audient and older SSLs (like the model 4000)

    Any recommendations are most welcome.
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It's gonna be hard to find something new in your price range. How many channel are needed ?
    What kind of production and sound are you aiming ?

    Other maker could be API or allen & heath

    The first interesting I see is this one : http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GS2R24

    At that price, you should try many and choose with your ears ;)
  3. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Thank you @pcrecord. I will check it out. Is it in line?
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm by no means an authority but this is also a solution. @Kurt Foster might be a great resource as well.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Most consoles in your price range built in the last 20 years or so will probably be inline design. Unless you're talking big old Neves, Tridents, Harrisons, etc, very few desks under 10 grand would be of the split configuration, unless you were able to find an older split desk, but at that price, my suspicion would be that it would need some serious servicing.

    I might be wrong about Toft, but it seems to me I recall there being some problems with one of their desks in the last couple years ... you may want to do a search on Toft consoles right here on this forum.

    A&H are wonderful desks; designed well, and they sound great, with great attention paid to quality pre's and flexible routing. I'm pretty sure Boswell ( @Boswell ) has an A&H, he might be someone to talk to about them.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, as it happens, I have several desks of various makes and types, but I think the one Donny is referring to is my A+H Zed-R16, which is effectively the 16-channel version of the GS-R24. This series from A+H is a lovely performer with wonderful sonics, but it is not what I would call an inline console, in the sense that it does not have separate signal paths for live inputs and record returns on each channel.

    I think before we make further recommendations of what you might want to look at, it would help to know what you understand by an inline console, and why it is you need one that has that architecture.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I think you just told him. ;) LOL

    But I agree with Bos.. I didn't ask why you were looking for an inline, because you came across as pretty definitive in that this was what you wanted. And this may in fact be the case.

    And I apologize if my comments weren't precise... I didn't mean to lead you astray by suggesting the particular A&H model that Bos has. I was just pointing out that A&H in general makes some very nice analog desks within and under the price range mentioned.

    Another question that would help to know the answer to... how many inputs/tape returns are you looking for? The same with subgroups, along with any other particular features you'd want - which would also be helpful to know, things like built-in GR on each channel, computer connectivity (USB, FW, etc.), direct outs, inserts, automation, etc., etc., ....


  8. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Thank you @audiokid, I will look into this mackie desk.

    @Boswell , @DonnyThompson

    Hello, and thank you for your time. To answer your questions:

    1. What I mean by "inline console": a mixing console in which each strip can hold a live input and signal and a record monitoring signal. According to my source, some can even turn their strips into groups.
    2. I don´t actually want to buy one, I just want to check out their user manuals in order to better understand how they work
    3. If I come by a model that´s affordable, I may buy it in the future. I'm looking for one with 16 strips, nothing fancy.

    However, now that I have your attention, I would like to ask something:

    ¿Is it possible to have the input path and the monitoring path active in the same strip simultaneously? Take his scenario as an example:

    1. Plug in microphone 1 into strip 1's mic input (input path)
    2. Plug in strip 1's direct output to Recorder's input 1
    3. Plug recorder's monitoring output 1 into strip 1's line input

    This way the microphone could be recorded and monitored via the mix console's main output.

    Does that make sense?

    I'm confused because I read in a book that you can turn a strip into either an input or a monitoring channel, but not the two at the same time.

    If this is true, then my example above is incorrect. I would have to use strip 2's line input to monitor the recorded signal, correct?
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Having mics in the preamps and record them via direct out is what nearly all analog mixers do. What you ask is a way to switch from the mic input to the line input for outboard mixing. Most budget mixer won't seperate signal from mix xlr input and line input but the Allen&heath I proposed have a switch that help you choose one or the other.


    Those of us who don't have that option just use the DAW as the monitoring mixer when we record overdub tracks. We just return the main output from the daw to a stereo input and put that in the headphones of the musicians..
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This is what an inline console does that is different from either a standard live mixing console or a side-by-side console. In my view, a console in which this routing is not possible should not be classed as inline.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That's exactly what an inline console is... as opposed to a "Split" console ( or as Bos referred to as a side by side) ...where the monitor section is actually another complete mixer; where the recording input, Tape/DAW Returns and monitoring functions are entirely separate from each other.

    Besides physical size, ( smaller) the benefits of an inline desk are that during recording, the tape ( or DAW) returns are "inline" with the input section of the channel strip. During mixing, the channels are all available as inputs, allowing all tracks to be mixed from all available inputs...while monitoring of the previously recorded tracks is available and adjustable... the amount of adjust-ability is determined by how advanced the returns are... some have no EQ, some have limited EQ ( fixed 3 band) and some are fully parametric.

    LOL.. clear as mud, right?

    More simply put, as Bos said, if it doesn't have the input and return/monitoring path located in the same channel as the live mic/instrument input, it's not an "inline" console - or at least not according to any engineer I know - Bos and myself obviously included. ;)
  12. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Here's a scan of the Tascam M-2600 Mk2 manual. It should give you the basics of inline consoles. It's possible that you can find a used one for under $1000.

    http://bouldersoundguy.com/media/Tascam M-2600 MkII.zip
    kmetal likes this.

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